Centre allows COVID-19 vaccination at workplaces from April 11, for aged 45 years and above
The government allows COVID-19 vaccination at public and private workplaces having about 100 eligible beneficiaries from April 11 across states and Union territories.
Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan in a letter to the chief secretaries said a substantial proportion of the population aged 45 years and above is in the organised sector of the economy and is involved in formal occupation in offices (government and private) or manufacturing and services.
“In order to increase the access of vaccine to these populations, COVID-19 vaccination sessions may be organised at workplaces (both public & private) which are having about 100 eligible and willing beneficiaries by tagging these workplaces with an existing COVID vaccination centre,” Bhushan said in the letter.
He said the states can initiate due consultations with private/public sector employers and management to prepare for launch of workplace vaccination.
“Such work place vaccination centres may be launched across states/Union territories from April 11, 2021,” he said.
The Centre has asked states and Union Territories to make adequate preparations and issued guidelines in this regard.
According to the guidelines, only employees aged 45 years or more will be eligible for vaccination at the workplace and no outsiders including eligible family members will be allowed for vaccination.
One of the senior staff of the organisation will be assigned to work as nodal officer to coordinate with district health authorities/ private COVID vaccination centres (CVCs) and support vaccination activities.
The beneficiaries will be required to register in Co-WIN portal prior to vaccination and CVC nodal officer will ensure registration of all targeted beneficiaries and facility of on-the-spot registration will also be available but only to employees of the workplace, the guidelines said.
For optimal utilisation of resources, vaccination sessions will be planned at workplace CVC once at least 50 beneficiaries get registered for vaccination.
“The schedule of vaccination sessions can be made up to 15 days in advance and intimated to the workplaces so that maximum attendance is ensured on the day of vaccination. In most of the workplaces vaccination schedules may, however, be completed in less than 15 days,” the Centre told states and union territories in the guidelines.
The District Task Force chaired by district magistrate and Urban Task Force chaired by municipal commissioner will identify such government and private workplaces after due deliberations with relevant employers.
Every CVC in a government workplace will be tagged to an existing and nearest CVC in the government medical facility while every CVC in a private workplace will be tagged to an existing and nearest CVC in the private medical facility.
The designated government and private CVC to whom the workplace CVC has been tagged will be responsible for deployment of the vaccination team at workplace CVCs.
All government and private CVCs are already linked to some cold chain points for receiving vaccines.
“These CVCs will continue to use the same mechanism to receive the vaccine needed for vaccination at tagged workplace CVC,” the guidelines said.
The healthcare workers of this health infrastructure of the workplace CVCs (such as doctors, nurses and other staff) may be deployed for the COVID-19 vaccination activities at workplaces as vaccination team members, it said.
The workplace CVCs staff engaged in COVID-19 vaccination activities will follow the same SOPs for vaccination and reporting including management and reporting of adverse events following immunization.